Relations between Switzerland and Ecuador are good. The free trade agreement between EFTA and Ecuador, which entered into force on 1 November 2020, is also expected to boost trade.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Ecuador
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Political relations between Switzerland and Ecuador are relatively low-key. The most recent ministerial level meeting took place in September 2017 when Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Amman received Ecuador's Minister of Foreign Trade Pablo Campana on an official visit to Bern.
Bilateral double taxation, air transport and mutual legal assistance agreements are in place. A free trade agreement between EFTA and Ecuador came into force in 2020.
Trade between Switzerland and Ecuador is relatively modest. In 2020 Switzerland imported goods worth CHF 205 million from Ecuador. In the same year, Swiss exported products to the value of CHF 97.6 million to Ecuador – primarily comprising pharmaceuticals, chemicals and machinery.
At the end of 2019, direct investment from Switzerland in Ecuador stood at CHF 281 million and Swiss companies employed about 5,800 people in the country.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Ecuador can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships. Under a mandate conferred by SERI, the University of St Gallen is currently coordinating research cooperation initiatives between Switzerland and Latin America.
Swiss nationals in Ecuador
According to statistics on the Swiss abroad, 1,736 Swiss nationals were living in Ecuador at the end of 2020.
History of bilateral relations
A Convention on Friendship, Establishment and Trade between Switzerland and Ecuador has been in effect since 1888. Switzerland opened a consulate in Quito in 1938 and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1963.
Between 1969 and 2009, Ecuador was a priority country for Swiss development cooperation. The poverty reduction programmes were wound up at the end of 2010 when Ecuador became a middle-income country.